COVID-19 Staff Stories

Yameen Tejpar

I’ve been thinking about normal a lot.  My normal to be specific and how much I miss it.

I miss starting my day at the Y – not because I miss the exercise (I do, sort of), but because I miss engaging with my Neighbour Marlene.  She is our motivator – Warren, my husband and I meet her in the lobby of our building every morning and we walk to the Y together.  If we didn’t have this arrangement, we would sleep in! 

I miss my walks to and from the office. It is a great way to gather my thoughts for the workday ahead and to clear my head at the end of the day.  I live downtown and walking – to work, to shop, to wander – is my mode of transportation.  Now Warren and I go for a short walk in the evening before dinner focused on maintaining physical distancing with others.  Not so easy to do on narrow downtown sidewalks.

I miss being at the office with my friends and colleagues.  I miss the quick conversations when we need to solve for something, the jokes, the banter in the lunchroom, and yes, even the meetings. Zoom just doesn’t cut it.

I miss my daily stop at the grocery store on my way home to buy what I need to make for dinner that night.  I found this very therapeutic. Now we plan ahead, stand in line, wearing our masks and stock up for the week. Not so therapeutic.

I miss our Friday nights – either date night for the two of us, or meeting friends for drinks and dinner after work.  Now it’s a two hour zoom call with our friends every Friday, and date night is every night, at home! Not quite the same thing. 

I miss hosting dinner parties and having people over.   I love to cook, and feeding our guests has always been a source of immense pleasure for me.  This, I miss the most.

I also think about how grateful I am as well.

I am grateful that I work in an industry where it’s been possible to keep working. Many of our friends have not been so lucky.

I am grateful for the technology that has made it possible to work from home, but more importantly to stay in contact with our families.  It’s not the same thing, but it’s better than not being able to see them at all.  I’m looking forward to the day we can all hug each other again. 

I am grateful that I have a job that keeps me grounded, with colleagues and management that provide constant support and encouragement, and a regular paycheque.

I am grateful to be able to have food on the table, clothes on by back, and a roof over my head.

I am grateful that that I am able to practice physical distancing every day.

I am grateful for all the essential workers and first line healthcare professionals who are risking their lives to keep us safe

I am grateful for the access to healthcare should I need it.  As someone in their late 50’s with Asthma, I am conscious of the fact that I have a COVID target on my back.

I am especially grateful that I have constant support and love from my friends and especially my family.  So many in the LGBTQ community do not.

I am especially grateful that Warren is by my side as we navigate the ups and downs of this Pandemic together.

Someday, normal will be back.  Until then, I’ll just stay focused on how grateful I am.

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